What is your role, or current or past relationship with Innovation Guelph?  

I’ve been a mentor/industry specialist at IG since 2015 focusing on marketing communications strategy and brand storytelling.

How did you come to know about IG? How did you get involved? 

I was introduced to IG by mentor Mark Goldberg. IG was looking for someone to write client success stories for the Fast Lane program. My role evolved to working with clients to support their marketing communications/branding needs.

Your thoughts on the 10th Anniversary of Innovation Guelph:  Why is this milestone remarkable? / Why does 10 years matter?  

Ten years is a big deal! This milestone is an opportunity to celebrate a decade of serving as a support and a catalyst for entrepreneurs and their businesses in Guelph and beyond. Innovation Guelph has been true to its name both in terms of supporting innovation, and in creating innovative programs and services that address crucial needs in the business ecosystem. We see this in the tremendously successful Rhyze Ventures program for women-led businesses (which includes support for social enterprises), and in the launch of Rhyze Up, which makes IG business development expertise available to women-led companies across Canada.

 Thinking back on your experiences with Innovation Guelph, are there any notable stories, anecdotes or humorous memories you can share with us? 

One of the things I love about IG is the camaraderie and collegiality among the mentors, industry specialists and staff. Everyone is willing to share their expertise and unique perspectives to help the clients achieve the best possible outcomes. It’s a very rich environment for new ideas, best practices and diverse perspectives. The feeling that you are always learning something new is really energizing.

If you have one, please share a message of congratulations on Innovation Guelph’s 10-year anniversary. 

Happy anniversary Innovation Guelph! You’ve helped so many entrepreneurs navigate the path to achieve their dreams over the last decade. Here’s to another 10 great years!

Why is (supporting) innovation important to you? 

Supporting innovation is important to me because there are always problems to solve, and ways to do things better, to benefit people, economy and the environment. I believe that innovation, in the purest sense, is about hope for a better future.

Are there any success stories related to IG you’d like to share or remark on? 

There are many… It’s been amazing to see UTComp grow its business globally, improving the way industrial equipment made of composite materials is inspected in many different industries around the world. Rillea Technologies is another business using technology to help organizations more safely and efficiently handle chemical hazards in the workplace. It was rewarding rebranding Pollinate Networks to capture the spirit of their work matching and connecting people for mentoring and other forms of knowledge transfer. And it’s always fun working with food companies – wonderful to see Abokichi gaining momentum with an almost cult-like following for their miso-based food products. Chef Pam Fanjoy has pivoted from running a restaurant to launching her Junior Chef programs that offer a unique culinary therapy approach for mental health. Udderly Ridiculous has created an award-winning goat’s milk ice cream and is now launching a new agri-tourism venture.